Low Energy House was designed by Steinmetz De Meyer Architects and is located in Luxembourg. Its design came as a result of the town-planning specifications in Luxembourg City, where interconnected houses are a common sight. According to the architects, this lead to a “complex massing characterized by cantilevers and large recesses acting as generators of the architectural form. Displayed as white volumes extended by strong horizontal and vertical lines, the composition appears very geometric, while drawing an elegant flowing from the ground to the roof top. Very expressive, the cornice becomes the element of integration to the architectural typology of the street and the neighboring houses“. The layout of the residence is interesting: a double height dining room connects the ground floor to the study in the mezzanine and the parental suite on the first floor. Have a look at the architecture plans at the end of the post for a deeper understanding of the project.
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests